Wynne’s fire sale of Hydro One exposed

Stephen LeClair, Ontario’s non-partisan financial accountability officer (FAO), has now confirmed what everyone already knew.

That is that Premier Kathleen Wynne is holding a fire sale of Hydro One for a quick fix of cash in a desperate bid to balance the province’s budget by 2017-2018, despite the fact it will damage the province’s long-term finances and increase its debt load.

  • andycanuck

    You’ve gotta find the money to pay for multiple, Islamic wives somehow:

    • eMan14

      Corruption never ends.

  • eMan14

    To the Liberal voters with deaf ears… I Told You So!

  • bargogx1

    Glad to see the other party leaders are calling her out on this, but they need to get more aggressive about it.

  • canminuteman

    She is using the sale proceeds to buy off union. I know for a fact that shares in Hydro One are being given as compensation to a particular union. This kills two birds with one stone. it gives an under the table raise to certain union members and puts part of the ownership of Hydro One in union hands.

  • mauser 98

    Coup d’état

  • JoKeR

    That picture should not be libellously calling her a liar.

    Wynne is merely truth-disabled.

  • Cat-astrophe

    What Wynne is doing privatising all public works is not just a “Liberal” thing.
    For instance, Alberta “Privatized” our public “Works” in the early 90’s under Conservative leader, Ralph Klein.
    Privatisation is a “Free Trade” or “Corporatism” mandate, one that began in Canada with NAFTA, under Conservative leader Brian Mulroney. All parties, regardless of stripe are not standing in the way of this trend, provincially, federally.
    TPP, TTIP are the next steps.
    You see, “they” could not make the final result arrive in just one fell swoop. No, it has to be done in steps, over decades. Country by Country. (note, free trade between provinces within Canada is not a part of this, this is a Multinational Corporation driven, global thing. Privatization is not based on National Interests, but Multinational access to world markets)
    If anything, a Liberal Government would naturally move towards Nationalizing our utilities, and public works.
    No, this is what George Bush Sr. said in speeches, it is a “New World Order”

    • canminuteman

      This is just a bankrupt government trying to come up with cash. Ontario Hydro wasn’t a crown corporation until the state stole the privately owned privately created electrical system in the first place.

      • Cat-astrophe

        Ontario Hydro began May 1906, very early in the decision making of the development of Niagara Falls. Hardly a “robbery”, just part of the decision making process at the time.
        The 1905 election: “In May 1906, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario (“Hydro” or “HEPCO”) was formed[6] and its first commissioners were Adam Beck, John S. Hendrie, and Cecil B. Smith,[7] HEPCO was a unique hybrid of a government department, crown corporation and municipal cooperative that coexisted with the existing private companies. It was a “politically rational” rather than a “technically efficient” solution that depended on the watershed election of 1905.[8]
        Whitney was claimed to have said: “The water power of Niagara should be as free as the air.[5]”
        (Whitney who won the 1905 election, was Conservative, by the way)

        It was renamed “Hydro One” in 1974.

        Conservative Premier, Mike Harris In October 1998, passed the “Energy Competition Act” which restructured Ontario Hydro with the aim of separating electrical generation from transmission/delivery, and introducing competition in generation.
        There war where the process to “privatise” this utility was begun.
        Wynne is merely finishing the process off.
        I stand by my original comment.

        • canminuteman

          Niagara Falls & River Railway Power House, operating in Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Queen Victoria Park between 1892 and 1932, supplying electricity to its trains operating between Queenston and Chippawa.
          William Birch Rankine Power Station, opened in 1905 by the Canadian Niagara Power Company which was founded in 1892. It was purchased by the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation in 1950, and then by the Fortis Incorporated Power Group in 2000, after which it was retired from service following an agreement with Ontario Power Generation, the provincial utility.
          Ontario Power Company, also opened in 1905, purchased by the Ontario Hydro Power Commission in 1917 and then decommissioned in 1999.
          Electrical Development Company (EDC), later named the Toronto Power Company, operating between 1906 and 1973.
          Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations, are two hydroelectric generating stations in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, opened in 1922 and originally named the Queenston Chippawa Power Station. It was renamed after Sir Adam Beck in 1950, with significant expansions in 1954 and 2013. The two major power stations at the site are called Adam Beck I and Adam Beck II.

          • Cat-astrophe

            It certainly looks like Government and Industry have been working side by side all these years, which was true for Alberta as well. So I agree, the poor provincial coffers is being used as the excuse to remove any Government involvement in maintaining and ownership of these utilities. They are being turned over to private interests, who have no reason to honor any longer, the spirit of what Premier Whitney said.
            Like I said, same thing happened in Alberta in the ’90’s. Deregulated were Telephone, Gas and Power.
            Arguments were, private industry will be more efficient, the sale will reduce our debt, same old same old. Gone are publicly owned assets and the peoples cushion from market forces, at least for utilities.
            So, I guess, the real question must be, why is it taking place, and is it really of benefit to the people in our respective provinces?
            Who in the coming decades will be the biggest winners from this trend?

          • canminuteman

            My personal feeling that Ontario Hydro should never have been created in the first place, but since it was it should likely have been kept as it was. The problem is that I think OPG/Hydro One are incredibly badly run, and have been for about twenty years. I am fairly familiar with the situation as I have been an employee of OPG for the past decade. There is way too much political interference with OPG. When they made money, instead of using it to pay off debt it was taken by the government to squander. When Darlington was built there were huge cost overruns, in large part because the project was started and then cancelled then started then cancelled then started again.

            One concrete example of what I am referring to is the pay of the CEOs of Hydro One and OPG. I remember seeing that the CEO of Hydro Quebec which is regarded as one of the best utilities in the world made about 500k a year, at the same time as the CEOs of Hydro One and OPG were making in excess of a million each. Since Hydro Quebec does what OPG/H1 does it costs us four times as much to get the job done in Ontario as it does in Quebec.


          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Crown corporations in all provinces are used as cash cows and also a way to hide government debt.

          • Cat-astrophe

            I don’t see how selling them will help Government finances at all. Cash cows IS what we want, not debt to foreign corporations, who answer only to faceless shareholders.
            I don’t see selling crown corps as a net benefit to the population, getting rid of corrupt governments would be, you make that point in your comment.
            All we are is fleas riding along on an increasingly churlish government.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            She’s not really selling it though.
            Not completely.
            She’s gonna keep 40 percent for the government of Ontario and the hydro unions are gonna get 20 percent.
            The private sector will only get 40 percent.
            She’ll still have control.
            Also, I just read that the unions cannot exercise shareholder voting rights until they have paid for their shares.
            She’ll still control those shares.
            What she’s really doing is cashing in equity for short term gain.

  • ontario john

    Can’t wait for her to get back from California where she is discussing the cap and trade policy Quebec has with that state. What it boils down to, is we pay California for being able to drive our cars and heat our homes. Another great idea for the suckers in Ontario. “Happy Ways” are here.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    While we’re talking about electricity I would like to ask all those Newfoundlanders who voted for Liberals where their gratitude is to the Conservatives for facilitating the regulatory and financial approvals and the loan guarantees for getting them out from under their slavery to Hydro Quebec.
    Besides being ungrateful bastards do you really think a Liberal government would have offered you that kind of assistance when it was so strenuously opposed by the provincial government of Quebec?

  • K

    Organized crime has their hooks into this DONT SELL!

    Clean out the weeds please and thanks

    • K

      To pay for the Hydro debt… DO NOT do any new construction for fifteen years till it is paid off!…. And stop doing business with Organized Crime Construction Companies!

    • Cat-astrophe

      The population will pay, and pay again. Build a plant, tear it down. Build infrastructure, sell it off.
      The big wheel keeps on turning…

  • Clausewitz

    So let me get this straight. She’s going to sell infrastructure at fire sale pricing in order to pay for more infrastructure at inflated cost over run ridden projects by her Liberal cronies. Yeah, that’ll work, in the minds of a Liberal.